The $1.5m Epsom Handicap is a Group 1 held at Royal Randwick Racecourse for three year olds and older. First run way back in 1865, the mile feature has become one of the highlights on the Australian racing calendar and has been taken out by some of t...
In a hurry? We’ve listed all the quick facts that you need to know about the Epsom Handicap:
|Date||Saturday, 7th October, 2023|
|Racecourse||Randwick Racecourse, Sydney, Australia|
The Epsom Handicap is a Group One race over 1,600m and is held at Randwick Racecourse. The race is for horses aged four or older who are not maidens and is run under handicap conditions with a total prizemoney pool of $1,500,000.
The $1.5M Epsom Handicap is the headline act on a massive day of racing around the country and sees some of the best middle-distance runners in the country contest the 1,600m event. Epsom Handicap day allows the race to be the main event, with there being two other Group One races in Sydney and another run in Melbourne as well.
For horses not wanting to contest the G1 2000m Turnbull Stakes in Melbourne, held on the same day, or potentially those who started their Spring preparation a bit later and are still rising through the distances, the 1600m Epsom Handicap is a clear target race and contested by some of the best in the country.
Another reason that the Epsom Handicap attracts the quality that it does is there isn’t just the $1M prizemoney on offer, but a ballot-exemption entry into the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, held in Autumn, is awarded to the winner and given that race holds a $4M purse, it is definitely sought after.
Dundee won the first running of the race in 1865 and since then, the likes of Chatham, Shannon, Gunsnyd, Super Impose, Desert War and Winx have also won the race. In 2020, Probabeel continued her impressive four-year-old Spring campaign, winning the Epsom Handicap, which was her second Group One victory at the time.
In 2022, we saw a dead heat in the race, with Ellsberg and Top Ranked crossing the line at the exact same time, just 0.34L ahead of third placed Hinged.
Given the race is still weeks away and the field is not set, we are yet to come up with our Epsom Handicap tips for 2023, but be sure to read on below to get all of the information you need to know on the history and formlines for the race.
The Epsom Handicap is an Australian Group 1 race that brings some of the best horses and it attracts the attention of many Aussies who like to have a casual punt. Our expert tipsters will put together a short list of Epsom Handicap tips to look out for in the leadup to the big race.
Given nominations are yet to be accepted for the 2023 Epsom Handicap, it is hard to provide any updates at this time. However, as the Spring Carnival gets going, the horses that are targeting this race will become clearer and we will be able to provide you with updates.
If you are after Epsom Handicap horse tips, then we will keep you informed with which horses are likely to be running, so you can place your futures bets with confidence!
We will list The Sharks’ Epsom Handicap best tips for the race this year closer to the time of the race. Make sure you check back on this page for updates!
Our tips are not out for the Epsom Handicap in 2023 as it is too far out from the event. But the good news is that when the final field for the Epsom Handicap is announced, we will provide guidance on each and every runner in the 2023 Epsom Handicap.
You will find all this information below, when it becomes available. Stay tuned!
Given the race always attracts some of the best horses in the country, it makes finding Epsom Handicap best tips hard, however there are always trends to follow. We have analysed some of the most important factors to consider when looking at Epsom Handicap betting, to help make it easier to find a winner.
Is Previous Form in the Epsom Handicap a Good Indicator of Future Success?
While there hasn’t been any over the last 10 years, two horses have been able to win the Epsom Handicap more than once since 1990, with the most recent being Desert War in 2004 & 2005.
However, when looking at a horse’s ability to even just place in more than one year, there hasn’t been one over the last 10 years. Desert War is the most recent horse to do so, coming second in 2006 after winning in both 2004 and 2005. That means that it may be best to look outside of those that have previous form in the race when looking for your Epsom Handicap top bets.
Should I Bet On The Favourite in the Epsom Handicap?
It may be best to look around the favourite in the Epsom Handicap, however given the quality of the field, there are juicy odds wherever you look. Over the last 11 years, just four favourites have won the race however there have been just two horses to win it priced under $4.50.
However, while the favourite has won in just four of the last 11, there has actually only been two horses that was outside of the top three favourites to win the race, Hartnell in 2018 and Ellsberg in 2022 (who won the race in a dead heat with Top Ranked).
This indicates that it may be the smart play to follow the money and look among the top chances, with the most common starting price of winners being between $5.50 – $6.50.
Probabeel won the 2020 Epsom Handicap when jumping as third favourite, at $6.50, behind the likes of Rock ($6.00) and Star Of The Seas ($5.00), who came 7th and 11th respectively.
Formlines Heading into the Epsom Handicap
Looking at the winners over the last six years, most of them have contested the Epsom Handicap third up in their Spring preparation. That is a pretty clear indication when looking for a winner in this year’s event.
Two fairly recent previous winners, Probabeel and Kolding, won the G3 Ritchie Handicap in their second up run, two weeks prior to then taking out the Epsom. Another main lead up race is the G2 Tramway Stakes, which three of the last five winners contested first up.
Kolding came 5th in the race in 2019 however both Happy Clapper (2017) and Hauraki (2016) won the Tramway first up before then winning the Epsom third up. Those two runners both also contested the G1 George Main second up, with both coming 2nd in that race.
Hartnell, 2018’s winner, is the clear outlier, being the only winner from the last five years that didn’t win either run prior to taking out the Epsom. He was also the only winner over that time to start his campaign in Melbourne, before making his way up to Sydney on a three week break.
In 2022, Ellsberg managed a third place in the Group 2 Shannon Stakes, in his run prior to the Epsom Handicap. While Top Ranked won the Group 3 Ritchie Handicap in his run prior.
Four-year-olds have had complete dominance in the Epsom Handicap, winning six of the last 11. In fact, there were five straight years, from 2009-2013, that four-year-olds won the race, with that age being the clear standout. Still looking at the last 11 years, six-year-olds have only won once over that time, with those being aged five having three wins each.
Here is a table indicating the ages of winners of the Epsom Handicap since the 2011 edition (remembering that in 2022 there was a dead heat between Ellsberg (5YO) and Top Ranked (6YO):
|Age||# of Wins|
Given the handicap conditions of the race, the Epsom Handicap winners have had varying weights over the years. The weight of 57kg is the most common and also the most amount of weight carried by winners over the last 20 years.
Even narrowing down further, three of their last six winners have carried 57kg past the post; Hartnell (2018), Happy Clapper (2017) and Winx (2015). The lightest weight carried to victory has been 50.5kg, which was Glen Boss aboard Kolding in 2019.
While Probabeel, a mare, won the race in 2020, geldings have reigned supreme over recent times. Along with her was Winx in 2015 and Secret Admirer in 2011, however the other eight runnings of the race over the last 11 years were won by geldings or stallions.
Based on our data that we have analysed so far, your Epsom Handicap best bet is to look for a four-year-old gelding that is third up in their preparation, ideally running in G3 Ritchie Handicap second up or G2 Tramway Stakes first up. While you don’t necessarily have to follow the favourites, it is best to stay within the top three in the odds.
Our Epsom Handicap best bets for 2023 are not out just yet, make sure you keep an eye out on this page as we will provide more details about our best bets when the final field is announced.
You will find our best bets below once available. Stay tuned!
Long before the Epsom Handicap field is officially announced – online bookies will open early markets, or all-in markets, for Epsom Handicap betting. This is prime time to bet on your favourite horse, as you might be able to bet on strong contenders for the 2023 Epsom Handicap at double-digit odds.
Given they are yet to be released, the 2023 Epsom Handicap odds will obviously fluctuate frequently in the lead up to the race, especially when we have a better idea of which horses will be targeting the race and their form leading into the race.
Punting early on these markets can find you a favourite at prices of $10 or more, which will retain you a much higher return on investment. However, there is increased risk with doing this and you should be well aware.
Depending on when you place your 2023 Epsom Handicap futures bet, your horse may not run in the race, but you also won’t get your money back, this occurs when the market is ‘All-In’ or closer to the starting date. If you are looking to have a bet when it says ‘Before Noms’, then you can rest easy knowing you’ll receive your money back if your horse doesn’t run.
The 2023 Epsom Handicap odds are yet to be announced, please check back later.
While details about the field for 2023 isn’t available yet, take a look at the key runners in the field from the race in 2022.
Despite usually attracting a large field of top class milers, the 2022 Epsom Handicap was only ten horses strong, after the scratchings of Converge and Character. The track was rated a Heavy8 and the already gruelling Randwick mile would be a real test for the small field.
After running Zaaki to 1.8L first up in the Tramway and Anamoe to 0.8L second up in the George Main Stakes, 6YO mare, Icebath, was favourite for the race at $3.60, and deservedly so. Sydney’s champion jockey, James McDonald, was in the saddle and it looked a prime opportunity for her to bag her first Group 1.
On the second line of betting at $4.00 was the Chris Waller trained, Hinged, who was coming off the back of a solid third in the Tramway, where she finished behind Zaaki and Icebath. She led on that occasion and fought on well, and similar tactics were expected here.
Former Irish galloper, Top Ranked, was also right in contention at $4.60, after an easy win first up in the Bill Ritchie. He looked well suited second up out to 1600m and was dropping 3kg off his first up win.
It was expected by punters and experts that one of these three would be winning the race, but the Waterhouse/Bott trained, Cross Talk, was not completely out of it and was sent out an $8.00 chance.
With the 2023 Epsom Handicap yet to be run and won, let’s have a look back at the 2022 Epsom Handicap to see if there are any key performance indicators that can help us find the winner of this year’s Group 1 feature.
Amazingly for the third time in the race’s history, the 2022 Epsom Handicap resulted in a dead heat with the judge unable to separate Top Ranked and $16 chance Ellsberg, who both enjoyed a nice run in transit behind the leaders.
Both Hugh Bowman, jockey of Top Ranked, and Brenton Avdulla, jockey of Ellsberg, threw everything bar the kitchen sink at their mounts and it’s fair to say the result of a split decision was the fairest outcome.
Gutsy mare Hinged, ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, also went hammer and tong with the pair all the way to the wire in what was a cracking finish. She would be denied victory by just 0.3L in the end.
These three gapped their rivals with race favourite, Icebath, best of the rest a further 5L away. After leading the race early, Cross Talk dropped out in the concluding stages to be beaten 9.8L and in what was a true slogfest.
You’ve read the words, now watch the video! Have a squiz below at the 2022 Epsom Handicap race:
The results for the upcoming Epsom Handicap are not yet available, but in the meantime, you can have a look below at all the recent past winners:
|2022||Ellsberg & Top Ranked (DH)||–||Hinged|
|2019||Kolding||Te Akau Shark||Star Of The Seas|
|2017||Happy Clapper||Tom Melbourne||Snitzon|
|2015||Winx||Ecuador||Sons Of John|
|2014||He’s Your Man||Royal Descent||Hooked|
|2012||Fat Al||Ambidexter||Rolling Pin|
|2011||Secret Admirer||Pinker Pinker||Red Tracer|
|2010||Captain Sonador||Trusting||Sacred Choice|